Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Consistency Can Help Ramirez Be Our Perfect 10

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Consistency Can Help Ramirez Be Our Perfect 10

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC SHAW dominic.shaw@trinitymirror.com @DOMSHAWGAZETTE

NIGEL Adkins couldn't smile wide enough.

After guiding Southampton to the Premier League, the club - and the boss - appeared to be on the up.

The proof, said the physio turned gaffer, was the ambition on show with the purchase of Gaston Ramirez.

The fee, predictably, was undisclosed, but understood to be around the PS12m mark. Adkins was delighted.

"Great credit to everyone because we have a young, exciting talent joining us who is one of the best around," he said at the time.

Less than four years later and then Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was asked about the same player.

"He is not in the plans for the future of the club," came the reply.

Nor was he in Hull's plans. A loan move that failed to take off had come to an end.

A red card on his first start against Spurs rather set the tone for his time at the KC Stadium.

"He never really found a role in the Hull team to be honest," explains Phil Buckingham, of the Hull Daily Mail.

"They quite often played wing-backs at that time and there just didn't seem to be a natural fit for Ramirez in the team.

"There was a couple of games were he stood out but he had zero consistency and looked a little lightweight.

"I certainly didn't see him as a natural fit for the Premier League."

He looked every inch a natural fit on Saturday against Stoke City.

No tears were shed when Ramirez's loan stint came to an end at the KC Stadium or when his contract expired at St Mary's, yet Hull and Southampton fans will be wondering what if should the Uruguayan continue with the classy showing of Saturday in the months ahead.

And that's the obvious challenge.

Boro fans have to look no further than the previous pair of No 10 residents for the importance of consistency in that oh-so important role.

Diego Fabbrini had us waxing lyrical amid comparisons with the most famous Diego after a super showing or two at the start of his Boro stint.

By the end he was more missing than mercurial.

And inconsistency blighted Lee Tomlin's game as well.

But Ramirez is a step-up in class and showed on Saturday that he has the quality to make that step up in divisions. …

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